Found 21st Dec 2009
After some advice on poetential for being mis-sold.

Basically over the weekend my guttering downpipe has broke off. Its cast iron so quite heavy and the top section maybe poetentially hanging without support. I cant get up there to check & not really prepared to do so in the weather conditions.

Now...I check my home insurance last night & I took out 'Home Emergency Assistance' as an additional policy @ cost of around £30 for the year. On my renewal letter it clearly states in a paragraph that gutters & downpipes are covered should they fail & that there would be no excess and it wouldnt affect my claims discount etc.

Now having rung to claim today & being passed from pillar to post, it turns out its a Homeserve additional policy & they dont cover gutters/downpipes. In the main T&C's for the policy, which I have never recieved it apparently says in there that they are NOT covered.

Do I have a leg to stand on because of the inital small paragraph on the renewal letter or will they just start pointing out the main T&C's???

Advice appreciated......


Best you will get is your £30 back - Homeserve did the same to me

it's only 'mis-sold' if you asked for your guttering to be covered and it isn't

is this on your buildings insurance?

i would be miffed if mine was like that - off to check.....

why not put a straight claim into insurance?

so they get someone out quick or you get 3 quick quotes

too dangerous leaving it like that


Sounds like a similar situation I had this year.
Companies remaining nameless here, the company I use to manage my flat that I let out tried to use Homeserve as an excuse as to why I wasn't being paid my rent on time due to a couple of repairs.

I simply pointed out that my contract is with them and NOT Homeserve and everything sorted itself out.

Are you with Homeserve direct or is Homeserve the third party through your insurers.

Either way, if you have a paragraph that tells you that downpipes are covered, then you are covered.

T&Cs can be (and often are) changed on a daily basis so therefore even if they produce the T&C's to you now, there is no proof they were correct at the time of you taking out the policy.

Argue the case and you'll no doubt win it.

And in future, ensure all trade agreements are sent to you WITH T&C's attached. This way, they can't simply change the T&Cs at a later stage and try and sting you that way.


the key word in the OP is Homeserve

Otherwise known as cowboys

Original Poster

just been driving home while the replies have been coming in.

basically the buildings & contents insurance have been taken out with X company & the 'home emergency assistance' is with Homeserve, but was an additional cost ontop of the B&C's premium. Thought it was a good idea seeing that it was only £30 & covered the mentioned.

The insurance company rang me on the way home & tried to deem it as wear & tear and that is isnt an emergency. this is even before theyve sent anyone out to it!! i argued with them saying that everything could then be classed as wear & tear, such as an electrical socket has been used too much if a fault occurs on it.

the bloke has gone back to discuss further with his manager.....

any other suggestions as to what I can do? personally i think they'l offer me the £30 back & hopefully have it brushed under the carpet, but i wanna take it further.....

If you get nowhere write a letter to the insurance ombudsman and enclose a copy of the renewal letter?

Original Poster

bringing this btt.

so after another couple of days ive still got a cast iron downpipe hanging off and still really non the wiser with this one. i called them twice today to be passed around, but finally got a callback at teatime. the company is now trying to curveball the issue by saying:

a) its wear and tear
b) its storm damage!!
c) its not deemed an emergency

he said that if there was pest infestation in the guttering/downpipe then id be covered!! complete joke. i offered to shove a rat up there then ask to claim, but he said that would need to be investigated!. proper joke. they still havent and seem to be stalling on what is actually covered in the event of guttering/downpipe emergency.

after this brief chat, he called me back offering the £30 back for the policy, which is what i expected. i do want to take it further, but unsure if ive got a case as there offering me the additional policy fee back and effectivly washing their hands of the issue. ive told them that the least they can do is offer to pay for it to be fixed & foot the bill.

any other advice from you lot?


your renewal letter clearly stated it was covered and they never sent you anything to the contrary. you are 100% right to claim and ask for all the managers details and state you are reporting the matter to trading standards for false advertising and the insurance ombudsman for reneging on the policy conditions. Insist on the full name etc and they might start to rethink their position.
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